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Amaravati : Construction of Naidu’s Dream City and the Question of Land Acquisition

The city of Amaravati is being developed by acquiring land from the farmers of the villages. Whether it is at the expense of the livelihoods of these poor people, is the question.

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The famous Stupa of Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. Wikimedia
  • Amaravati is going to be the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The development of Amaravati is going on through acquisition of land from the farmers.
  • The scheme developed by the Andhra Pradesh State Government for the purpose is called Land Pool Scheme.

The state of Andhra Pradesh is undergoing a major change whilst having its capital transferred from Hyderabad to Amaravati. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu is aiming at building his new capital city to the likes of other world class cities of Singapore, Japan and China. He wants to be the one who can give his people a better city and a better standard of living. He, along with his Ministry has envisaged a plan which would help them in acquiring land from the farmers and in building the new city, it is known as the Land Pooling Scheme. Under this scheme they have succeeded in acquiring 33,000 acres of land from over 29 villages. Thullur was the first village that was chosen to be worked on for the construction of the capital city but later the State Government altered their choice to pick Mandadam and Uddandarayunipalem villages. However, they did not neglect Thullur altogether. In fact, it was reported in The Hindu that most villagers of Thullur are now the residents of two-storied houses with vehicles of their own. Most people are enthralled with how their lives have changed with the advent of the Land Pooling Scheme of the Andhra Government.

A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
A road in AP. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.

However, the critics are of the opinion that the aforementioned scheme of the Government is just another way to deceive the people and acquire their land forcibly, under the farce of voluntary surrender of land. It was also stated by them that LPS is all but a scheme to somehow by-pass the strict rules and regulations of the Land Acquisition Act. The Leader of the Opposition Party, Y.S. Jagamohan Reddy told The Hindu, “What the government did was to take away large chunks of fertile land from farmers and pass them on to the corporate in highly questionable deals,”. He accused LPS of being an idea of “land fooling” and not voluntary acquisition of land.

A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A road in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

Indeed, there are certain parts of the city where land has been acquired from the farmers but adequate compensation has not been provided by the State Government. These farmers have no clue about what the following days would usher in for them. These fertile lands lay bare without even a structure being built on them. Therefore, the Land Pooling Scheme, even though it sounds extremely promising at first, has a number of shortcomings as well.

A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
A building in Amaravati. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The real estate prices having been swooping high since the development of the city was started by Naidu. Agents recall being called by investors from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad these days because now they want to invest in the real estate of this rising city. There is a lot going on regarding the construction plan of the city which is resulting in boosting the real estate business.

The central government led by BJP has handed the Andhra Government a solid amount and the YSR Congress have expressed their desire to contribute. Seems like, everybody wants to have a part to play in Naidu’s dream project. Whether he will succeed in his endeavor or not is the big question.

-Prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

SHARE
  • Aparna Gupta

    I think it is good if people who are giving their land are getting a flat in two storey building, it is a sign of development.

  • AJ Krish

    It is really good that the government is planning to create a world-class city. The people are all overwhelmed and excited to join in, but they hardly seems to have a plan. The farmers have lost their livelihood and for what exactly?

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Farmers cannot be moved from their lands. You either not take it or make sure that they get the land money as well as permanent jobs in the planned city

Next Story

Research: Having Diverse Natural Areas Near Agriculture Helps Farmers Financially During Calamities

"New global and local policy should specifically target conserving and enhancing biodiversity"

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farmers, nature
University of British Columbia ecologist Diane Srivastava, with a damselfly, an insect often used as an indicator species for estimating biodiversity and assessing ecosystem health. (T. Zulkoskey). VOA

Farmers reap surprising benefits from having areas that are biodiverse  with many plant and animal species nearby, according to new research. A study finds that having diverse natural areas near agriculture helps farmers financially during droughts, and the more diverse the areas are, the better. Policies that preserve biodiversity near farms may ease economic pressure in places with severe droughts, the authors say.

“If you plant the same sort of crops next to a natural area that is very high in biodiversity versus one that’s very low in biodiversity, [the positive effect] spills over into the agricultural products,” said Frederik Noack, a professor of food and resource economics at the University of British Columbia who led the study.

Some of that spillover can be tied to the increased diversity of insects in places that host many different species of plants, experts say. Pollinators that help plants reproduce, like bees and moths, and spiders that prey on agricultural pests like aphids and beetles are especially important.

Noack hoped to learn if having biodiverse areas close to farms could help crops be more resistant to drought  and if that impact would be big enough to be seen in farmers’ incomes.

farmers, diversity, agriculture
Farmers reap surprising benefits from having areas that are biodiverse with many plant and animal species nearby, according to new research. Wikimedia Commons

Big data from small farms

The researchers used data from 7,556 households in 304 villages in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where farmers derive their incomes from traditional agriculture as well as forest products like lumber and firewood.

Noack and his research team looked for a connection between the level of natural biodiversity  in this case, the number of plant species in the area  and how strongly drought affected the incomes of local farmers.

The researchers had expected that greater local biodiversity would benefit farmers, and it did. Farmers in areas with half the biodiversity lost twice as much income when droughts hit during the growing season.

Noack said that initially they thought the effect was just correlated with crop diversity. “Maybe you plant more different crops in areas with higher natural biodiversity because maybe there are just more crops available in those areas and that’s actually what’s driving the effect.”

But that’s not what they found. Even when they accounted for the effect of greater crop diversity, the farmers’ incomes seemed to be stabilized just by being close to diverse natural areas that can host many types of pollinators.

farmers, agriculture, diverse
“If you plant the same sort of crops next to a natural area that is very high in biodiversity versus one that’s very low in biodiversity, [the positive effect] spills over into the agricultural products,” said Frederik Noack. Pixabay
Having access to forests was also an income stabilizer. Because forests are the result of many years of growth rather than just a single season, income from forest products is less susceptible to drought and can offset agricultural losses, the researchers found.

ALSO READ: Government to Launch Solar Scheme for Farmers to Ensure Rs. 1 Lakh Income

Encouraging conservation

Bruno Basso, an ecosystems scientist at Michigan State University who was not involved in the research, commented in an email that the researchers had been able to show that “biodiversity and forest conservation play a critical role in adapting and mitigating the negative effects of increased climate variability.” Noack hopes that this study can become part of the larger debate about conservation of natural areas.

“Should we just have protected area far away in areas that we don’t use or shall we try to integrate that into normal land use?” said Noack. “This study actually says maybe we should at least have some level of biodiversity conservation in the agricultural landscape because of this positive spillover.” Basso agreed. “New global and local policy should specifically target conserving and enhancing biodiversity,” he said. (VOA)